An impassioned post-Brexit speech by Sinn Fein’s Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson is making headlines across Europe this afternoon.
Martina Anderson was cheered and applauded as she argued that Northern Ireland’s democratic vote to remain within the European Union is upheld and defended.
She also took a swipe at those who have tried to tie themselves to voters in England and Wales who opted by majority to leave the EU.
Ms Anderson, addressing the European Parliament today, said: “MEPs like Diane Dodds and Marine Le Pen say that we in the north of Ireland are bound by a UK vote. We say we are not. We ask you to respect our vote. We stand by the vote of the people of the north of Ireland just like Scotland, which voted remain.
“We accept, we respect and we will defend the wishes of the people of the north of Ireland. However if English folks drag out of the EU that would be like Britannia waives the rules.
“There was a democratic vote. We voted to remain. I tell you that the last thing the people of Ireland need is an EU border with 27 member states, stuck right in the middle of it.
“You and the EU you have supported our Peace Process and I ask you to continue to do that.”
Ms Anderson also said there was discontent at the direction the European Commission and Council had taken and warned it needed to change course if it was to survive.
“Sinn Fein, we went and we worked for a strong Remain vote on the basis of a more social Europe; a more democratic Europe, and clearly I say to the Commission and to the Council you are not listening, you failed to realise the depth of opposition among the ordinary people to their anti-democratic practices and anti-social policies. These social policies and practices must change if the EU is to survive,” Ms Anderson said.